At TheHikingChild we go hiking regularly. We go individually, with our friends, our parents – with anyone that will tag along. Most often, however, we go as a family with our kids.
Evaluate Your Goals and Ambitions
Remember that going hiking with your kids is different than doing a sprint alone. You need to teach them, take care of them, and take your time. Set your goals accordingly, and curb your ambitions.
Hiking with kids is a lot of joy, and the benefits seem endless. Children develop stamina, trust in themselves, and respect towards their parents. They overcome obstacles, push through moments of weakness, experience adventures (if you’ve ever been caught in the mountains during a sudden storm you know), and they learn to make decisions. Kids discover the wonders of nature and their environment, and a lifelong sense of responsibility towards maintaining our earth. Most importantly, they develop a sense of accomplishment, of achieving something spectacular. Outdoor living gets etched into their minds and stays with them for the remainder of their lives. They grow into great people that love the outdoors.
Hiking With Kids Requires a Mindset
But hiking with kids also has its challenges, and as with most things, a little planning can go a long way to make the experience memorable and fun. Even before attempting a list of ‘to-do’s’ and ‘to-have’s’ remember that going with little people requires a certain approach in your way of thinking. When you’re going with kids, remember that it is their safety and comfort that are the most important, not reaching a destination that you envisioned, or an obstacle that you decided must be overcome. Forget your ambitions and abandon your competitiveness, your goal is not a picture on Facebook atop a far off summit or barren desert. If you push it too hard, you will accomplish the opposite of your intention: discouragement, rather than encouragement – so use your head and your common sense!
Your objective is to spend time outdoors with your children: to teach them about their surroundings, about nature, about themselves, but also to ensure that they are comfortable, safe, and having a good time. Ultimately, you want to provide an environment that will entice them to keep coming back.
This is TheHikingChild mentality. Imprint it in the back of your mind – and your adventures will be a success.